MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As the Pfizer vaccine is expected to get final authorization Wednesday for use in children as young as 12, Minnesota health officials reported 919 more cases of the virus and 15 additional deaths.
The latest update from the Minnesota Department of Health shows that in the last 24 hours more than 21,000 tests were processed, suggesting a daily positivity rate of 4.3%.READ MORE: Some Elective Surgeries On Hold As Minnesota Hospitals Face Staffing Crisis
As of late last month, the seven-day rolling average positivity rate had plateaued around 6%, just above the state’s “caution” threshold. This is down from an early April spike where the rate reached 7%, driven chiefly by the spread of a variant first reported in the U.K, health officials said.
Minnesota’s cumulative COVID-19 case count currently stands at 590,436, according to Wednesday’s update. The state’s death toll is at 7,255.READ MORE: Health Officials Debut New App Offering Minnesotans Quick Access To Vaccine Records
On the vaccination front, just over 60% of Minnesotans ages 16 and older have received their first vaccine shot, and nearly 50% of those eligible for the vaccine have gotten their full series. In total, more than 4.6 million vaccine doses have been administered in the state.
On Wednesday, the number of Minnesotans eligible for the vaccine is expected to increase by about 300,000, as a panel from the Centers for Disease Control is likely to give final approval for the use of the Pfizer vaccine in children between 12 and 15.MORE NEWS: COVID In Minnesota: 2,736 New Cases, Positivity Rate Climbs To 7.1%
Anticipating this, Minnesota health officials and providers have been preparing to expand the vaccine rollout. Children as young as 12 could start getting the vaccine as soon as Thursday. Additionally, Minnesota Children’s is planning to vaccinate about 1,500 young people in an auditorium this weekend.